2001 TL headlamp replacement procedure - Acura Forum : Acura Forums

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-14-09, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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2001 TL headlamp replacement procedure

It took me about four hours of research to figure this out, but only about 90 minutes to do the work.

Simple: It can be done entirely from within the engine compartment.

NOTE: The manual gives a lot of warnings about potentially lethal voltages associated with this HID headlight arrangement, which I'm going into here. YOU should find those instructions and follow them... even though I ignored them completely and was just careful not to touch or short-out any connectors or wires.

From inside the engine compartment, use a "Secure Torx T20 bit" (or a pair of pliers if the bolt is loose enough, as mine was) and remove the bolt A, and twist the cover B counterclockwise (when looking at it from inside the engine compartment) about 1/4 turn to remove it.

Twist connector A about 1/4 turn counterclockwise to remove it. Don't touch the metal inside or let it short to anything. Unfasten the retaining spring B, and pull the bulb straight out. Don't touch the glass on the new bulb as you insert it, and button-up the assembly in reverse order of disassembly.

Since there’s not enough clearance behind the bulb to remove it from the engine compartment with the headlamp assembly bolted to the car, the assembly must be unbolted and slid forward to get the bulb out the back. To do this requires that the plastic bumper covering be removed in order to access hidden bolts.

It’s pretty simple and doesn’t require special tools, just a flat-blade screw driver to pop-open the plastic clips (you'll probaby break some, and they cost about $7 each at Acura), a 10mm socket and 10mm wrench. My car has a small air dam on the front lip of the bumper which I removed (I think needlessly).

Just remove the six clips toward the rear of the cover (D in the drawing)

Remove the bolts at B. The nut is accessible through the inside of the wheel well.

Remove the two Phillips-head screws at B (from inside the wheel wells)

Remove the three clips at C.

Pull the plastic piece off. It just slips into the “side clips” and the “hooks” so no big deal.

Once the bumper cover is off, remove six bolts A, and one bolt B, and remove the piece they secure.

Now remove the bolts that secure the headlight assembly to the chassis and move the assembly forward enough to remove the bulb from the rear. Be sure to disconnect the electrical connector first.

Last edited by czissman; 09-14-09 at 04:06 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-20-09, 01:47 AM
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thanks czissman!! i was goin' nuts trying to figure out where to start! great help!
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-21-09, 11:41 PM
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before buying a head light bulb I'd like to ask - the bulb goes on a few minutes later. is it a bulb problem or the something else. coil, loose connectors?
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-01-10, 05:26 PM
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I have a 2000 TL and was able to do both headlamps without taking off the bumper and so on. To do the driver's side there is a little plastic piece that sits right behind the headlamp that needs to be removed. But it has two removable plastic "bolts" that simply pull right out. It was still a tight fit for big hands, but a whole lot less work. It sucks that the newer model makes you have to do all this extra work. Nice pics though. Do you have a helm manual or something? I have been thinking about buying one for this car, but haven't seen it on their website. Where did you get yours?
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-25-10, 08:32 PM
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Thanks CZissman - excellent directions, I was able to do the driver's side without taking the bumper off. Biggest problem was getting the blasted torx screw loose, after that it was easy!
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-29-10, 01:49 PM
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Ill find out soon if i can switch them without taking the bumper apart...
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-29-10, 01:49 PM
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Thank BTW
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-08-10, 08:35 PM
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Greetings! I have found that if you remove the power steering and Windshield Reservoir bolt it makes it easier to install the passenger side light bulb. You can actually pull out the WS Reservoir neck. It snaps back in. For the Driver side, I removed the air filter assembly. I then pulled off the air intake nozzle that is behind the plastic shield that is behind the plastic piece that had the two plastic bolts that are removable. Word of caution, make sure to install the light bulb with the wire side down or else the light beam is not focused but scattered. Also, make sure the lettering on the light bulb holder letters are facing up. It took me 5-10 minutes for passenger side and about 20 minutes for the driver side. Good luck!
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-16-12, 08:23 PM
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I just replace my HID bulbs. Can be done without removing bumper.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-14-13, 02:09 AM
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I know this is an old thread, but for anyone looking to replace the driver side headlight bulb, remove the air cleaner box first. It'll make a lot more room to work with and a lot easier.

Air cleaner box is held on by only two 10mm bolts.
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-20-14, 10:50 AM
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Thanks all for the info. One of my Acura headlight went out and I was told it's the HID light which would cost about $120. Does anyone know what the part number is so I can search and purchase it online? I also google for a manual online but can't seem to find it.

Thanks. mdang
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